For Immediate Release: 9/26/2022 3:58 pm
WORCESTER – The City of Worcester has been awarded approximately $15 million for increased staffing and equipment to supplement the expansion of the Worcester Fire Department.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced the award of a SAFER Grant in the amount of $14.1 million, which is for the salaries of 60 new firefighters over the next three years.
FEMA also announced the Assistance to Firefighters Grant award of $806,000 to increase the Worcester Fire Department’s inventory of self-contained breathing apparatuses, personal radios, and turnout gear for new recruits.
"This funding from FEMA will assist our department in accomplishing its mission to protect the lives and property of the community by increasing daily staffing for a safer and more effective fire and emergency response,” said Acting Fire Chief Martin Dyer. “We have a growing community, and that requires increased resources to ensure we have the personnel and equipment needed."
In June 2022 the Worcester City Council, with the endorsement of the Office of the City Manager, approved a Fire Department budget to increase the staffing levels of the Department from 409 members to 452 members. The next two drill school classes, will bring the department to approximately 435 members.
“I want to thank our federal delegation for their support in pushing this FEMA grant through and securing this vital funding for the Worcester Fire Department,” said Mayor Joseph M. Petty. “Without the help of Congressman McGovern, Senator Markey and Warren, and the hard work of their staff, we never would be able to have been able to push this grant through. This funding is a game-changer for any city but especially here in the City of Worcester where we’re trying to grow our fire department.”
Acting City Manager Eric D. Batista echoed those sentiments.
“This funding will help us move toward our strategic plan goals of investing in the Fire Department by adding more firefighters and new equipment to keep our growing community safe,” said Batista. “We’re building on the foundation of excellence established by the WFD, and I’m looking forward to swearing in the new recruits in the near future.”